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韩国欲生产可防禽流感的"泡菜空调"

2006-02-17 00:00张咏,CRI

Kimchi-spiced Air Conditioners to Fight Bird Flu

    South Korean firm LG Electronics is poised to start marketing an air conditioner with a filter made using an enzyme from the pungent national dish kimchi that is aimed at protecting against the bird flu virus.

    Kimchi, typically made from pickled radish or cabbage packed with garlic, ginger and hot peppers, is renowned for its supposed health benefits —— as well as its powerful odor.

    "We developed the filter with the aim of protecting people against bird flu," LG spokeswoman Park Se-won said by telephone, citing four studies from domestic and overseas institutions that she said showed the filter eliminated the deadly H5N1 virus.

    Over the years, kimchi has frequently been billed, particularly in Korean culture, as a miracle food with an amazing array of health benefits. During the SARS crisis in 2003, many Koreans believed eating kimchi helped ward off the disease.

    Researchers in South Korea have been testing whether an extract from kimchi can be used as an additive to chicken feed to prevent bird flu, although there has been little scientific evidence to support the claim.

    LG, which is the world's largest manufacturer of air conditioners, intends to start marketing the air conditioners in China and Southeast Asia soon.

    She said appliances would not transmit the unmistakable kimchi smell through rooms.

    "Since the filters are made with only the enzyme extracted from kimchi, the smell doesn't follow."

    The H5N1 avian flu virus has killed 91 people since late 2003, the majority of them in Asia. Though the virus remains hard for people to catch, scientists say it is steadily mutating and could acquire the ability to pass easily between people, triggering a pandemic.



    韩国LG电子公司准备于近期将一款与众不同的空调推向市场,它的特殊之处在于其过滤网上使用一种从韩国人普遍钟爱的味道辛辣的泡菜中提取的酶,按照该公司的说法,这种酶可以消灭禽流感病毒。

    据路透社2月15日报道,韩式泡菜一般是用腌好的萝卜和白菜再辅之以大蒜、生姜和辣椒制成的。这种已经闻名于世的食品不仅具有独特而浓烈的味道,同时还被认为能给食用者带来一系列健康方面的好处。多年以来,泡菜经常被说成是一种对人体健康大有裨益的神奇食物,而韩国人对此则更是深信不疑。2003年非典疫情爆发期间,很多韩国人坚信吃泡菜会有助于他们避开这种疾病的侵袭。LG公司一位名叫朴世圆的女发言人表示:“我们开发这种过滤网的目的在于帮助人们有效预防禽流感。”

    她还举例说,韩国本土及海外的多个研究机构所做的4项不同研究表明,这种过滤网的确可以杀死能致人于死地的H5N1型禽流感病毒。身为当今世界头号空调生产厂商的LG公司打算于不久后在中国及东南亚市场上正式销售该款空调。她还宣称这种空调不会将泡菜独有的气味散播到房间中去。她说:“由于这些过滤网上只是使用了从泡菜中提取的一种酶,所以那些相关气味根本就不存在。”此外,韩国的一些科研人员还在对一种泡菜提取物进行测试,以便确定它是否可以被当做一种添加剂加入到鸡饲料中,从而做到将禽流感扼杀于“襁褓”之中。

    2003年末以来,H5N1型禽流感病毒已经使91人失去生命,其中大多数是亚洲人。尽管到目前为止这种病毒还很难被传染给人类,但科学家们表示,它正在平稳地发生变异,并有可能具备在人群中轻易传播的能力,从而最终引发一场大范围的传染病疫情。

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